Party City: the discount party superstore

May 31, 2020

Nobody has more party for less!

In 1986, Steve Mandell saw that, while there were lots of mom-and-pop shops and a few retailers carrying limited supplies, there were no big retail stores specializing in party goods.

Mandell decided to follow his dream of running his own retail operation so, after pulling together $125,000, he opened a 4,000 square feet (370 m2) store in East Hanover, New Jersey. He called it Party City.

Party City’s 786 US Store Locations

With the first year a great success, Mandel started planning for a second location. His next step was to offer much sought after franchises and Party City began its evolution into a national chain.

The first Party City franchise store
opened in 1989 in Hazel, NJ.

As he entered his second year in business, Mandell decided to concentrate on Halloween. Over a quarter of his store was turned into a highly successful Halloween Costume Warehouse. October proved to be a hugely successful month for Party City and it had a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Inside an NYC Party City Store

Party City stocks a year-round inventory of Halloween costumes and in 2015, one-quarter or $560 million of the company’s revenue came from Halloween.

The company operates about
300 Halloween City pop-up stores.

In 1990 Mandell incorporated the business as a franchising operation, with his own four stores forming the core of the chain.

In 2005, Party City was sold to a subsidiary of AAH Holdings Corporation, owner of Amscan, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of party goods in America.

Amscan went on to acquire the party retailers Party America in 2006 and Factory Card & Party Outlet in 2007. Both retail chains began to operate under the Party City network, making Party City the largest party supplies retailer in the United States.

In 2011, Party City acquired Canadian retailer
Party Packagers, making it the largest party goods store in North America.

In September 2018, Party City opened 50 Toy City pop-up stores alongside its Halloween City stores.

In May 2019, it was announced that the chain would be closing 45 locations to help optimize their market-level performance.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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